"Blechacz expressed the contrast between impressionism of Debussy and expressionism of Szymanwski, but also his own strong character, courage, outstanding personality ... And the extraordinary sense of beauty".
(review by Jacek Kurek, posted on lizardmagazyn. April 5, 2012)
How adorable is the restraint, with which Rafał Blechacz invites you to listen to his CD with music by Claude Debussy and Karol Szymanowski. About the theme of "Sonata in C minor" by Szymanowski, the pianist said, “.....interesting harmony, wonderful modulations and beautiful melodies - I think audiences will love** it”.
The word “love” sounds here kind of irrelevant to the matter, in relation to what was meant. You could express a doubt with some ground whether to love it or not is at stake. Rather, isn’t it about the immersion in beautiful mystery? About the experience of encountering. About the contemplation of the crystalline sounds that the artist generates with the highest concentration?
In fact, however, Rafał Blechacz speaks...with the accuracy of an expert, because he allows us to discover a modest but meaningful order, which can lead us to return to the proper meaning of the verb “love”, when we refer it to the superior art.
The latest CD of this year by the winner of the Chopin Competition 7 years ago certainly will be loved,...and this as much because of the choice of works and composers, as well as sensitivity of interpretation. By all his albums, Blechacz charms with the captivating clarity - here perhaps it is more than ever before. Particularly dazzling is his playing of lesser known, early works by Szymanowski.
Debussy's music can be accepted with reservation, especially by those music lovers who are convinced of the superiority of poetic landscapes over technical perfection and masculine power. The latter, however, replete with surprising force (as in Blechacz) and is a huge asset of this release for me. Thus, I describe it as completely beautiful, arising from the same source, in which music flows on his debut and subsequent albums, already recorded for Deutsche Grammophon. Importantly, the artist seems to follow a carefully chosen path in which he matures and the perspective has nothing to do with the wilderness leading to flatter the audience - perhaps one of the biggest temptations for the performers of this class.
As he wanted, with the music on his latest album Blechacz expressed the contrast between impressionism of Debussy and expressionism of Szymanwski, but also his own strong character, courage, outstanding personality ... And the extraordinary sense of beauty.
** “.....interesting harmony, wonderful modulations and beautiful melodies - I think audiences will love** it”.
I copied this fragment from Blechacz's quote on the CD jacket (EU version). But original Polish word for "love" in this review is "(s)podobać się",(....myślę, że słuchaczom się spodoba), so a light word could catch what the reviewer wants to say more appropriately, such as "like" or "enjoy".
I agree with the author in that Blechacz has a strong character, very courageous, and he never flatters audiences--my observation after following his artistic activities - performances, reading and writing about him for the past four and half years.